Saturday, June 6, 2015

Tendle upkari or tendora toran/dry subzi ( Ivy gourd stir fry)

I love my vegetables. If one were to look at my meal plate you will most likely see a small serving of rice and a large serving of 2-3 vegetables with a small serving of protein. I like to eat a meal that is filling. I don't like the feeling of hunger after I have only just eaten my meal. Hence, I load my plate with veggies which are essentially almost calorie-free but bulk up my meal and keep me satisfied.

I love all vegetables.. I guess almost all.. Well, at this moment I cannot think of a single one that I do not like! Luckily for me Konkani cuisine ( I am a konkani) has amazing, easy vegetarian recipes. We make something called "upkari" which means "stir-fry" for almost all our meals. If you don't have some kind of upkari, it is as if the meal is incomplete. Upkari can be made with several different vegetables and is super-easy and super-quick to make with very little prep , ingredients and cooking time required. However, there is a traditional algorithm whether the primary seasoning has to come from mustard or garlic . This is vegetable dependent and I don't question it. Lets talk about tendle/tendora or ivy gourd: it happens to be one of my favorite vegetables and tendle upkari is simply delicious! During the cashewnut season, it is made mixed with tender cashewnuts. It could also be made by mixing with potatoes. I like it plain. Tendle upkari served with Dali Thoy and rice is a classic konkani meal.I am bringing this easy, healthy dish to Angie's Fiesta Friday. The ever bubbly Jhuls @The Not so Creative Cook and first-timer Laurie@Ten Times Tea are co-hosting this week.

Servings: 3-4


Tendle ( Gerkin): 250 gms or 10 oz
Coconut oil: 1 tsp
Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
Dried red chillies: 1-2 medium sized, broken into two pieces.
Salt: as per taste
Water: 1/4 cup
Freshly grated coconut: 1 tbsp ( for garnishing)( optional).


Wash gerkins thoroughly. Chop the tips off at both ends of the gerkin. If it is red inside, discard it.

Slice the gerkin thinly along the length of the gerkin as shown in the picture. Each gerkin can be sliced into 6-8 slices. Thinner the slice, faster it cooks and tastier the dish. Slice all the gerkins in this manner and keep aside.

Heat coconut oil and mustard seeds in a sauté pan. 

Once the mustard seeds crackle, add dried red chillies. 

Now add the sliced gerkins. Add salt, water and mix well. 

Cover and cook on low flame until tender( around 15 mins).

Turn off the flame. Garnish with freshly grated coconut.

Serve hot with rice or flatbread/ roti.


Cooking made easy:

The above dish can be made quicker if cooked in a pressure pan. After adding the sliced gerkins, salt and water, bring it to a boil, close the pressure pan lid. Place the weight/whistle of the pressure cooker and cook on medium flame until you hear the first whistle. Turn off the flame. Wait for the pressure to be completely released before opening the lid. Garnish with freshly grated coconut if you wish.

Tip for healthy living:

Tendle/tendora is known as ivy gourd in English and is an extremely healthy vegetable that is fat-free and fiber rich.It is often confused with gherkins, which they are not!. Ivy gourd fruits have been used to treat conditions like fever, asthma, bronchitis and asthma. The fruits is purported to possess mast-cell-stabilizing antianaphylactic, and anti-histaminic potential. Ivy gourd extracts are supposed to help regulate blood sugar levels by controlling the gucose metabolism in the liver. It is therefore often recommended for diabetics! 


Food for thought:

Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change. Confucius